Perspective

It looks like the holidays stepped in and got in the way of my weekly updates. I'm paraphrasing Dirk Manning when I say that there's no excuse. I should have made the time to get here. Eh, nothing I can do about that now. 

I have very weird thoughts from time-to-time. I can't think of a creative mind that doesn't go off on tangents. And by tangents I mean odd places that can't be explained because it's the way our minds work. 

I was recently thinking about the old lady that lived across the street from my parents when I was growing up. This was the nicest woman you would ever meet. She was warm and welcoming. Her house was always open to my family. If my mom needed someone to watch us for a short amount of time, she was there. I never met her husband so I assume that he passed away before I had the chance to meet him. Bottom line, she was the nicest woman. 

One day, she was driving her car. This is not abnormal in any way. I don't remember the model car. I clearly remember it's metallic brown color and, to my young mind, it was a boat. My room was in front of my house so I'd often see this woman pull out of her driveway and leave. 

To fully understand this story, you must also understand the habits of another one of my friends. I had a friend growing up who was very athletic. He was an All American wrestler and trained daily. As a kid, I never understood why his father made him and his brother run. I'm not talking about sprints or around the block. They probably ran 5 miles a day. You could set your watch to them. You knew when they would pass your house. I bet my friend still runs, today. Something in me says this was instilled in him. Good for them. 

Back to the old lady. I'll never forget the day my mom told me that she hit someone while driving. She didn't kill him, but changed his life. This woman was guilt-ridden for the rest of her life, too. I saw this guilt and felt bad for her. I thought the same thing you are ... she shouldn't have been driving. I know that. You know that. But when will either of us be able to tell when we should stop driving our car. I'm sure that day will come, but how will we find out. Anyway, if you hadn't guessed it by now, this woman ran over my friends dad, changing his life forever. 

My senior year of high school, my friend and I shared a class. I believe that was the year this woman died. I mentioned to my friend about her death and his reply was very curt, "Good riddance." I was shocked. How can someone feel this was about this woman? Then he elaborated about how the accident had change his father's life. To him this woman was the devil. The ultimate evil. It never occurred to me that this one action could make this woman evil. It was just an accident, right? 

That, right there, is the lesson folks. How do you create a good villain? It's all about perspective. True evil is not evil. That person, or people, mean well. They want to do right, but might end up doing wrong in the process. From a certain point of view, the villain is really good. Another person might consider that person a hero. Perspective is a powerful tool. It is something that can put a wedge in the best of friendships without either party understanding what the disagreement was about. I guess it's why having empathy is so important. Alas, that's a discussion for another time. 

Till next time.